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Tigers beat Hawks as NBL resumes

By Chris Pike
27 December 2013 11:25PM EST

THE NBL has returned to action after a bizarre break when other sports are capitalising on the festive period with the Melbourne Tigers comfortably beating the Wollongong Hawks at The Cage.

There had not been an NBL match since the Adelaide 36ers beat the Cairns Taipans back on Sunday December 15 before the league resumed on Friday night after a time where the competition was quickly forgotten by the general public.

With the Ashes and Big Bash League cricket, and the A-League still prospering during the festive period, it was without doubt a bad time for the NBL to take a week off but none the less the action has returned and it saw Melbourne record a solid 74-67 home win over Wollongong.

The Tigers were quick out of the blocks and particularly impressive defensively in the first half holding the Hawks to 10 first quarter points and just 29 for the first half with the home side comfortably leading by seven points at the main break.

However, Wollongong came out a rejuvenated outfit to start the second half and managed to pile on 29 points in the third quarter to assume the lead heading into the final period.

Melbourne steadied, though, and managed to slow Wollongong's scoring keeping the visitors to just nine final quarter points while scoring 20 themselves to run out seven-point winners.

The win is the third straight for the Tigers to see them now improve to a 7-6 record on the season and consolidate third position on the ladder while it ends a run of two straight wins for the Hawks after they beat NSW rivals the Sydney Kings twice heading into the break.

The league's leading scorer Chris Goulding again led the way for the Tigers with 30 points on the back of nailing seven of his 11 attempts from three-point range.

Only one other Melbourne player scored in double-figures and that was import guard Mustapha Farrakhan who scored 10 points and dished out three assists.

Lucas Walker added nine points while raking in 14 rebounds and blocking three shots.

Point guard Nate Tomlinson finished with nine points also for the Tigers while Mark Worthington scored just five but did collect 11 rebounds to go with three assists.

Wollongong's import shooting guard Rotnei Clarke top-scored with 16 points while Tyson Demos and Kevin Tiggs both also scored 13 points for the Hawks.

Captain Oscar Forman finished with 10 points and eight rebounds also for Wollongong while Tim Coenraad had seven points and centre Larry Davidson gathered six rebounds.

Round 11 of the NBL will continue with just the one more game this weekend and that will take place on Sunday afternoon at the Sydney Entertainment Centre between the Sydney Kings and New Zealand Breakers.

There then will be three matches on New Year's Eve with the Wollongong Hawks hosting the Melbourne Tigers, the Cairns Taipans hosting the Perth Wildcats and the Townsville Crocodiles hosting the Adelaide 36ers.

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